On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he will pardon women’s suffrage heroine and anti-slavery campaigner Susan B. Anthony on the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women. Anthony was arrested for voting in 1872, violating the law permitting only men to vote.
“She was never pardoned,” the president said. “What took so long?”
Trump said he would sign “a full and complete pardon” later on Tuesday. He signed a proclamation celebrating the amendment.
“In the summer of 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood before the first-ever women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, and declared that women should enjoy this fundamental civil right,” Trump recalled. “Seven decades later, the suffrage movement succeeded. On this day in 1920, the United States ratified the 19th Amendment. It was a monumental victory for equality, for justice, and a monumental victory for America.”
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The pardon comes 100 years after the final state ratified the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920, which is also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.
Susan B. Anthony is also considered a pro-life icon, although historians have disputed the claim that Anthony opposed the killing of babies in the womb. Many suffragists openly condemned abortion, even if Anthony herself did not.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.